Adapting During COVID

By Rick Bergh  |  Executive Director  |  Voices in Motion

COVID has been a challenging time for all of us.

We wanted to reach out to a few of choristers and ask them how they’ve managed during the last months and what they have done that has been helpful. We have learned that it’s the small things we add to our lives and our outlook that seem to help us live life to the fullest, even when life throws us a curveball.


Here are their stories….


I decided to get one of the Telus Monitors, which has a GPS in it, for Barry, as he is a big walker and can wander a bit too far when the weather is good. It works with my cell phone, and I can track him when he is out, particularly when he is gone longer than anticipated. He wears it on a cord around his neck and there is a safety button in the middle, which he can press for help. They respond in 5 seconds or less. Particularly good for people who are prone to falls. It is advertised on TV fairly regularly and is run through Telus.

I have also learned that suggesting things to Barry (ie. activities or walks) is a much more positive way to approach him. Otherwise he most often will say “No” or just not be interested. I ask him to show me things that we can do together, rather than him wanting to do it alone. This has been very helpful for the respite care, that he gets once a week, as the ladies have found when looking at photo albums and listening to records.

Participating with the Zoom choir practices and joining the Sing-alongs each week.  Each week has become part of our regular schedule, which we both look forward to.  We have also been able to practice with the rehearsal videos, which has made a big difference in our ability to keep up with the choir. We also listen to Getting to Know You, and Barry really enjoys the stories of other VIM members.

I’ve been using some of my old favourite recipes from English Cookbooks that I used to make years ago. We’ve been having a couple join us for dinner – who are a part of our “bubble” – and shared the great food and memories related to the food, rather like the ViM Cookbook does.  This started to happen very early on, after we were taken out of isolation. Barry not only enjoys helping with the preparation of the food, but the social side as well. I think this is a big reason we have not felt so isolated.

I also get respite care approximately 4 hours a week, when these wonderful Filipino ladies come and spend time with Barry whilst I go to an appointment or have lunch with friends. They are from RJ Angels Care Ltd. and they are wonderful.


Attitude of Gratitude
It is so important for us to stop and take stock of what we are grateful for:

  • I woke up this morning unlike the 10,000 people who have died from COVID in Canada
  • I woke up in a warm home – thanks to city council for trying to house the homeless
  • Thanks for the healthcare system of dedicated men and women who give unselfishly and who should be treated with the utmost respect and gratitude.  At the very least we need to say “Thank you”
  • Thank you for the store workers and restaurant people who work under very hard conditions and must fight with people to wear masks
  • Thanks to the Times Colonist for all the wonderful fundraising it has done to help those in our community
  • Thank you for a safe country that we call home – we paid a very high price in lives during the wars to keep us safe.
  • To Dr. Bonnie Henry who gave us these six words: “Be Safe. Be Kind. Be Calm”

When we spend time developing an attitude of gratitude and count all of our blessings, we don’t have time to be rude and negative to people who are doing their jobs in very trying situations.

We live in a very beautiful part of the country and have manifold blessings each day. So before you complain, ask yourself if you have food, shelter and clothing today. Then don’t complain about anything.

Develop an attitude of gratitude.